Explainer: What do FBR’s proposed amendments mean for tourists and their vehicles? 

If approved, amendments will lead to greater oversight of vehicles temporarily imported by tourists

LAHORE: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has passed SRO 454(I)/2023 on April 10  to suggest possible changes to Chapter VI of the Pakistan Customs clauses (2001), relating to the temporary import of vehicles by tourists in Pakistan. 

The SRO aims to amend clauses 76, 77, 81, 82, and 84 of Chapter VI. If passed, the amendments will lead to greater scrutiny of tourists importing vehicles.

Profit reached to the FBR to obtain a comment pertaining to why the amendments are being proposed. However, no response could be elicited. The most likely explanation is that there may be revenue leakages resulting from the temporary importation of vehicles. Subsequently, the proposed changes will most likely aim to improve monitoring and prevent abuse of the temporary importation clauses by tourists who may evade taxes or illegally transfer ownership of their vehicles.

So what exactly are the changes? We will seek to explain each of them in this explainer. 

Amendment to Clause 76

This clause relates to the definition of a “tourist”. This is perhaps the least intrusive of amendments, as it leaves the vast majority of the text as it is. The only changes identified are cosmetic. 

Amendment to Clause 77 

This clause relates to the value determination for provisional release. The amendment proposes to add a provision to clause 77 stating that the value of goods for provisional release will be determined under section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969. This provision is not explicitly stated currently. 

Amendment to Clause 81 

This clause relates to the record-keeping requirements for importers. The amendment proposes to require the customs officer to record the passport and vehicle information of the importer and communicate it to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for the purposes of sub-clause (2) of clause 81. Currently, there is no such requirement. 

Sub-clause (2) of clause 81 states that a person who temporarily imports a vehicle into Pakistan cannot leave the country unless they either export the vehicle or obtain an import permit and pay all Custom-duties and other taxes in respect of that vehicle. In simpler terms, this means that if someone brings a car into Pakistan for a short time, they can’t leave the country until they either take the car with them or get permission to leave it there and pay all the money they owe for it.

Amendment to Clause 82

This clause relates to the endorsement for exported vehicles. The amendment proposes to require the officer-in-charge of the customs-station of exit to make a stamped endorsement on the passport of the importer of a vehicle when it is exported. This endorsement will be made against the endorsement relating to its import and retention in Pakistan. Currently, there is no such requirement.

Amendment to Clause 84

This clause relates to the reconciliation of carnet vehicles. The amendment proposes to add a new sub clause (Sub clause  84A) which requires the officer-in-charge of a customs-station to carry out a reconciliation of all vehicles entered through that customs-station at the end of each month. Any vehicles that are outstanding after the expiry of the retention period will be identified, and necessary steps will be taken for the recovery of duties and taxes and for the seizure of such vehicles. Currently, there is no such requirement.

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Daniyal Ahmad
Daniyal Ahmad
The author is a member of the staff, and covers the automobile, energy and advertising insdusties as a sector analyst. He can be reached at [email protected]


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